It's the Spirit that Counts!


Please visit the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment at and or by calling 773.553.2060 for the most current information on Selective Enrollment and Neighborhood Magnet programs.  Frequently asked questions about the process are located on the website. 

Note that there are separate applications for the Classical and Neighborhood Magnet programs. For the Neighborhood Magnet program, applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

  • What is the difference between Classical and Neighborhood programs?
    The Classical program requires students to apply through the selective enrollment test process, whereas the Neighborhood program has an attendance boundary. 
    The Classical program curriculum works one year ahead in reading and math, and students are offered Spanish or Mandarin.  
    The Neighborhood Magnet teaches at grade level or above, depending on the academic readiness of the students.
  • What does Classical mean?
    Classical schools provide a challenging liberal arts course of instruction for high students with high academic potential. Academic coursework is offered in math, language arts, world language, and the humanities.
  • If I move away from the neighborhood, can I stay in the neighborhood program?
    No.  The student must live within the boundaries.
  • Do siblings receive admissions preference?
    There is a computerized sibling lottery for the Neighborhood Magnet program only.  This is dependent upon space in the programs.  Siblings receive preference before spaces are opened up to the general lottery.
  • How can I prepare my child for the Kindergarten admissions test?
    Please refer to the frequently asked questions on the OAE website
  • If my child attends Skinner’s Tuition-Based preschool, will he or she be given preference or automatically offered a seat in the Classical program?
    No, your child must still apply through the selective enrollment test process.
  • Can a student transfer into Skinner in the middle of the school year?
    Yes, but only in the Neighborhood program.
  • What are the boundaries for the neighborhood program?

    Beginning @ Ashland Avenue and Kinzie Avenue
    East to DesPlaines Street
    South to Lake Street
    East to the Chicago River
    South to the Eisenhower Expressway
    West to Ashland Avenue
    CPS Skinner Boundary Map

  • My child has been accepted in the Classical program, so when do I receive my registration packet?  
    Parents will receive a registration packet at Open House, which is typically held in the spring.  If parents are unable to attend the open house, please stop by the front office after the Open House date.
  • My child did not get will I know where he/she is on the waiting list?  
    Call the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment (OAE) at 773.553.2060 for more information.


  • How early can my child arrive to school? What are the hours of operation?
    Skinner West students may arrive no earlier than 8am. The school hours are 8:45am to 3:45pm.
  • Do you have an afterschool program? 
    We currently have the STAR afterschool program and also partner with the Chicago Park District.  Learn more here
  • How many students are in a classroom? Are there assistants in each class?
    On average there are 30 students in a classroom. In some cases, student teachers are admitted for 3-4 month periods.
  • Does  Skinner require uniforms?
    Skinner West students must wear a uniform on gym days only. Uniforms are available for purchase at the School Spirit and Uniform store on our homepage
  • What languages does Skinner offer?
    Skinner offers Mandarin Chinese and Spanish depending on budgets. The school currently pays for a vast majority of the program for the Neighborhood Magnet students.
  • What documentation and health records are required for Kindergarten entrance?
    We require a current State of Illinois health immunization form and physical no later than October 15th. 


  • How much is the Tuition-Based preschool program? 
    Tuition for the 2017-2018 school year will be $13,974. Breakfast and lunch is free for all CPS students.

  • At what age can I put my child on the pre-school waiting list? How many spots are there?
    Children can be placed on the list as early as one month old. Note that we carry a long waiting list. Parents may walk-in or call in to be placed on the waiting list.  
    There are currently 20 spots for 3-4 year olds and 20 spots for 4-5 year olds.
  • What is the age requirement for entry?
    The child must be 4 years old by September 1st and must be toilet trained.
  • What is the application process?
    Click here to learn more about the application process. You may also contact Vickie Dixon, the preschool coordinator, at (773) 534-7790 to schedule a visit.
  • What is the preschool’s address?
    225 South Aberdeen
  • How do I schedule a visit to the preschool?
    Please contact Vickie Dixon, the preschool coordinator, at (773) 534-7790 to schedule a visit.
  • When will I receive an admission decision?
    Decisions are typically made in early April each year.


Mark T. Skinner West Elementary School
1260 W Adams St., Chicago, IL 60607
Tel: 773-534-7790

Copyright © 2011. Skinner West Elementary School. All rights reserved